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Awareness creation on risk factors needed for cancer prevention: Dr Khamo

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Kohima, November 12: Principal Investigator of Population Based Cancer Registry, Nagaland, Dr. V. Khamo while stating that the state gets around 600 new cases of cancer annually, today stressed on the need to awareness creation and prevention on the risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and traditional dietary habits such as smoked & fermented food items.
Nagaland records more than 600 new cancer cases every year with the total of 3348 cases of cancer are registered from 2009-2014, she said.
Speaking at the Cancer Survivors Fellowship, Kohima held on the theme ‘Celebrating Christ with love, joy, peace and hope’ in collaboration with Population Base Cancer Registry, Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) here, Dr Khamo said Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma at 19.27% is the highest among male followed by stomach – 17.8% and Oesophagus – 13.8%.
Among the female, she said Cervix Uteri cancer is found to be highest at 16.7% followed by breast – 12.6% and stomach cancer – 11.1%.
Presenting the cancer scenario in Nagaland, Dr. Khamo said the year wise registration of cancer cases in Nagaland were 2009 – 371, 2010 – 534, 2011 – 505, 2012 – 662, 2013 – 635 and 2014 – 641. Out of the total 3,348 cases, 2,034 were male and 1,314 were female patients.
She said Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma is rare in most parts of the world, with a remarkable ethnic and geographical distribution. In India, high incidence of NCP has been reported from the Northeast states with Nagaland being the highest in both male and female.
Nagaland is in third for male cancer patients at 15.2% and 2nd for female at 6.8% in international comparison, she said, adding that the average risk that a person will possibly develop nasopharyngeal cancer in their lifetime is 1 in 61 male and in female is 1 in 146.
Stating that high burden of cancer in Nagaland which is immensely affecting the state’s exchequer and losing of lives, Dr. Khamo observed that most of the patients are diagnosed at stage III and IV, leading to low survival rate.
These burdens, she explained are due to lack of early diagnostic tools, lack of awareness, lack of proper screening programmes and poor facility for treatment. Besides, she also pointed out that majority of the patients in remote villages have difficulty in accessing to basic health care facility due to lack of transportation, poor communication, language barriers etc and financial constraints faced by many.
Due to lack of proper facilities in the state, Nagaland with 78.7% is the second among northeast states where cancer patients take treatment outside of northeast after Sikkim with 98.3%.
To lighten the burden of cancer, Dr. Khamo said the need of the hour is to create awareness and prevention on the risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and traditional dietary habits such as smoked & fermented food items.
More training and health education should be imparted on use of clean fuel to be promoted in the villages to minimize indoor air pollution, promote consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
She also emphasised and suggested to create more cancer awareness, besides providing early detection facilities (Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Colposcopy and Mammographngy) in all the District Hospitals.
Dr. Khamo also pointed out that patients should be provided with counselling facilities, create poor cancer patient fund, rehabilitation of cancer patients, provide common cancer drugs at subsidized rates, make available the various specialists in oncology at a centralized place, set up Radiotherapy facility, start Cancer Helpline, Cancer Society and maintained that the government must make cancer a notifiable disease.
She also informed on availability of services at the Cancer Care Facility at NHAK such as endoscopy, surgery, histopathology, MRI, USG, oncology OPD, Oncology ward – day care facility (Chemotherapy), Palliative Care, NCD clinic, tobacco cessation clinic and ICU while mammography and CT scan services are under process.
NHAK also has trained manpower in Oncology Head and neck oncologist, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, palliative care and medical physicist.
Palliative Care in-charge, NHAK Dr. Lalkrawsthangi Khalo gave an introduction to palliative care while Miss Phek 2019 Shefüvi Pfithu shared her experience as a cancer survivor of courage and determination. (Page News Service)

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